More than 150,000 volunteers pledge to help clean up Britain

The little litter picker, eight, on a mission to save the planet as the number of volunteers pledging to help clean up Britain reaches 153,831

  • Milestone comes just five weeks after Great British Spring Clean was launched
  • It is hoped that half a million litter-pickers will help from March 22 to April 23 
  • Elizabeth Gadson, 8, from Wirral, Merseyside, filled 70 bin bags in the past year 

More than 150,000 amazing people have joined the growing army of volunteers set to clean up Britain.

The milestone comes just five weeks after the Great British Spring Clean was launched, leaving campaigners ‘overwhelmed’ by the response.

Since the call went out on January 26, an incredible 153,831 people have signed up to clean up our towns, cities and countryside.

More than 150,000 amazing people have joined the growing army of volunteers set to clean up Britain as part of the Great British Spring Clean, including Elizabeth Gadsdon, eight, who has filled more than 70 bags of rubbish in the past year


Elizabeth’s dog Banjo helps her to collect litter near her home in Wirral, Merseyside. Her voluntary work was recognised by Theresa May with a prestigious Points of Light award last year. She said her ‘secret mission is to make the Wirral plastic straw-free’

It is hoped an army of half a million litter-pickers will head out between March 22 and April 23.

The Great British Spring Clean, launched by charity Keep Britain Tidy and backed by the Daily Mail, has been supported by Prince William, Theresa May and even the United Nations.

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: ‘A hundred and fifty thousand of us are not prepared to sit back and let nature sink under a tide of plastic, and the people with the power to clean up Britain’s hedges, beaches and rivers without leaving their offices – the companies that make the plastic and the politicians who make the rules – should sit up and listen.’ 

Little Elizabeth, pictured with her dog Banjo, is just one of an army of what could be half a million litter-pickers who will had out between March 22 and April 23 as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign, which is backed by the Daily Mail


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The little litter picker on a mission to save the planet 

Elizabeth Gadsdon isn’t like most eight-year-olds.

Instead of spending her spare time playing with friends or watching her favourite TV programmes, the youngster throws herself into saving the planet.

Elizabeth, from the Wirral in Merseyside, regularly takes to her local streets and parks armed with a miniature litter picker, high-vis vest and bin bag to clear up discarded rubbish.

Instead of spending her time watching TV, Elizabeth Gadsdon, 8, has founded a children’s litter picking crew to help keep her local area clean

With some help from her best friend Banjo the labrador, she is thought to have filled over 70 bin bags in the last year.

Elizabeth, who is a big superhero fan and calls herself ‘The Little Collector’, has founded a children’s litter picking crew to keep her local area clean and her online page has attracted thousands of followers.

Her mother Faith, 43, a firefighter, said: ‘She started by popping out for half an hour with a bag and kitchen tongs at the weekend. 

‘At one point I told her if she got tired of it at any point she could stop. 

But she turned to me and said: “Why on earth would you tell me to stop caring for the planet?” Her favourite motto is: “Together we can make a difference,” and I think she’s right.’ 

Elizabeth, whose voluntary work was recognised by Theresa May with a prestigious Points of Light award last year, said her ‘secret mission is to make the Wirral plastic straw-free’.

High street names signed up to back the Great British Spring Clean include Marks & Spencer, Greggs, Walkers, Wilko, McDonald’s and Costa Coffee.

Praise has come from TV chefs Mary Berry and Prue Leith, as well as Chief Scout Bear Grylls and presenter Jeremy Paxman. 

Allison Ogden-Newton, of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘To have reached 150,000 volunteers by this stage of the campaign is truly incredible and shows just how much people want to live in a clean, litter-free country.’

Record numbers of wildlife, including seals and swans, are being trapped by plastic as wet wipes have been found blighting the coast.

The Daily Mail launched its Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign more than ten years ago to end the scourge of plastic bags destroying our environment

More than 100 councils are supporting the campaign, which is also backed by the People’s Postcode Lottery, Coca-Cola, Mars Wrigley and cleaning firm Karcher.

Emma Priestland, of Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The overwhelming support for this campaign shows how committed the British public are to fighting plastic pollution.

‘With our draft Bill for a future free of plastic pollution being read in Parliament this week, there has never been a better time for people to stand up and demonstrate that we’ve all had enough of the damage that plastic can cause.’

Is YOUR child a litter hero? 

We’re offering three prizes of £1,000, plus a UK family holiday, for the most significant contributions to the war on litter by children aged under 14.

Please tell us, in no more than 100 words, why you (or your nominee) should win, including contact details. 

Attach as many photos as you wish. Send entries before April 20 to [email protected] or write to Great British Spring Clean Competitions, Daily Mail Marketing, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT. 

Terms and conditions apply. Visit dailymail.co.uk/springcleancomp for more details.

 

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